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A31 speed limit WILL be reviewed
8:49am Monday 18th March 2013 in Latest
THE Highways Agency is to review speed limits on a notorious stretch of the A31.
Town councillors and residents have been calling for the restriction on the road around Ringwood to be reduced to 50mph following a series of serious and fatal accidents.
Last month 16-year-old Jade Clark was killed when she was knocked off her red scooter by a light coloured Volvo XC90 as she rode westbound towards the Ashley Heath roundabout.
The town council is pressing for a 50mph restriction between Picket Post and the roundabout but had been told the casualty rate was not high enough to justify a reduction.
It said it was still developing plans to reduce congestion by widening the A31 at the West Street junction by the Fish Inn.
Now the Agency has told the Daily Echo it will review the speed limits.
A spokesperson told the Echo: “Safe roads are our top priority at the Highways Agency, and we work hard to understand why incidents occur and do all we can to reduce them.
“We will continue to keep safety on the A31 continually under review and have made a commitment to Ringwood Town Council that we will further review the speed limits.”
Cllr Michael Thierry, pictured left, said: “I welcome the fact they are going to review the situation on the A31 – that is really exciting news. Quite what they decide following their review remains to be seen.
“We believe a temporary reduction in the speed limit would help ease the number of accidents there. We know not everyone will abide by the speed limit but it will make many people slow down.”
He added: “The town council is not going to stop – the campaign will go on.”
MP Desmond Swayne added: “I welcome this move by the Highways Agency but that doesn’t prevent me from pursuing my requests for a meeting with the minister and Ringwood Town Council.
“The last time I met with them they said there had not been enough accidents and secondly speed was not a factor in the accidents that we have had.
“It is effectively through an urban area and therefore could have a 50mph limit on it in exactly the same way the Spur Road through Bournemouth does.”